The follow-up question to my fast time in the 10K on Thursday was, how would the sore thigh and bad foot hold up? It turns out that they held up pretty well. By this morning, the sore thigh felt not quite 100%. The bad foot was not as good as it has been, but not terribly bad. Throw in the anticipation of a mostly sedentary afternoon chatting with my daughter, and I decided to try a continual run this morning.
The temperature at my front porch was 31°F (-1°C) as I went through my morning routine. Got to the point of getting dressed for a run, looked out the window, and saw snow showers coming down with some flake sticking to the driveway and grass. Okay. I know how to dress for this weather, and it's unlikely the snow will accumulate enough to need different shoes.
Went out with the plan of running 5K or maybe a little more, depending on how my body responded to the run. Running felt very good. At the 3 minute mark, the RunKeeper app told me my average pace was 7:15. Perfect. I definitely don't want to run as fast as I ran for the 10K. The first mile announced itself at 7:19, and I figured an average pace between 7:15 and 7:30 was just what I wanted today.
The run was feeling pretty good, so I added some twists to the route to get the time up to 25 minutes or so. That put in one trip up the small hill, and down by a path I don't usually take. I had remembered how to dress for the weather pretty well, except I didn't think to put on any lip balm; I missed it a bit when headed into a cold westerly wind. Later in the day, that west wind became nastier; but it wasn't bad for my run.
Late in the run, I was feeling good enough that I decided add another detour to get the run up to 30 minutes. Gotta get that sixth Spark Point, you know. Back to my driveway didn't quite manage that, so I went a couple driveways further, then had to turn around slower than expected because of snow on the shoulder. But turning slowly is better than falling down, any day of the week.
The slow turn got my time up to 30:15, for a distance of 4.1 miles. That works out to an average pace of 7:23 per mile, which was fairly consistent through the run:
I started the run in snow showers, which let up by the time I'd gone a mile. For the last part of the run, I had sunshine. But the snow shower left my driveway wet enough that I had to go inside for my stretching.
Take stock of things, listen to your body. How are things going, Kevin?
The sore thigh reacted very well. It was better at the post-run stretch than it has been since it made me pay attention. I noticed that my soleus muscles were really tight and needed particular attention on the stretching. I recall that a strained soleus happened during my first round of training to be a runner. Probably ought to do something for the soleus. The gastrocnemius muscles were fine; maybe an underdeveloped soleus is just something I need to pay attention to if I want to run. It's too soon to tell for sure about the bad foot, but at least there isn't a clear warning that the foot has an obvious problem.
On general principal, I'm not going to run on consecutive days until the bad foot feels like it's 100%. By that time, the sore thigh should be ancient history. I'll probably have other bumps, bruises, and sore parts to deal with between now and then, too; but I'll worry about those as they happen.
I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll be able to run again on Tuesday, though perhaps I won't be able to squeeze 30 minutes in. 20 to 25 would be good enough for runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a longer run on Saturday or Sunday but not both. Realistically, there are going to be times when I need to skip a running day because of how my body reacts. I think the smart thing to do then would be to skip a day rather than try to shift the schedule.
Still, even with the need for continued monitoring of the sore parts, it feels really good to be out there running again. Maybe this time I can achieve last year's goal of continuing to run through the winter. Just have to be smarter about *how much* I try to run when I have time off in late December.